God's Plan for the World

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).

As we read the Bible, we discover a general theme that runs through its pages: God desires the world to seek Him and be saved. In Genesis we read about creation, the first humans, Noah’s flood, and then Abraham, the father of the faithful. Then things slow down a bit as God demonstrate His love for His people. The Old Testament describes a coming Messiah who will one day rule the world. The New Testament reveals this Messiah as Jesus Christ. Listen to these words:

“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” ’ ” (John 7:37-38).

The gospel message compels people to turn to God and be saved. The Book of Acts describes the early efforts of the disciples to reach out to the known world with the saving news of Jesus Christ. God loves the people of this world, and gave His son to die for them (John 3:16; Galatians 2:20).

Does God love all sorts of people? Indeed He does. He loves difficult people, despised people, suffering people and even negligent people. In fact, we’re often surprised at who God saves! It works the other way, too. We might think a person is a shoe-in for salvation, only to watch that person resist all attempts to be reached for Christ. We can’t tell who will be saved, but we do know that God does not limit His love to certain types of people.

God’s plan includes extending second chances to people, even those who have spurned His love. We cannot close the door on anyone, and need to pray for them to come to Christ.

When we ponder God’s love for all people, we should capture this love in our own hearts. If God loves them, should I love them less? If God saves the unlovely, should I withhold God’s love from them? Once we get a vision for God’s love for people, we will share God’s amazing love with them. They need a message of hope, the gospel. May God fill us with His marvelous love for people.

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